"We are going to have a meeting very soon between me, Steve Knight and Paul Webster to discuss what the script would be," Cronenberg said. "I have some very strong ideas about what I would like to see, but I would like to hear what they have to say as well. And then after that, if all goes well, Steve goes away and writes a great script. If we all like it, we make it." If they make it, Viggo Mortensen will return.
Cronenberg has never had any interest in revisiting his work -- and little of it ever has the loose ends that Eastern Promises did. "It's the first time I've ever been in a situation where I actually want to do a sequel to something. I've never had the desire to do that before. But in this case, I thought we had unfinished business with those characters. I didn't feel that we had finished with Nikolai and we had done a lot of research that was more than we could stuff into that one movie."
I'm thrilled beyond belief. The film exists perfectly fine on its own, but the mysterious Nikolai is begging to be explored further onscreen. I'll tip-toe around spoilers, but I never could understand why so many audience members believed it to be a happy, cut-and-dried ending.
If you're curious and into research, there's some fantastic essays in Vol II of the Russian Criminal Tattoo encyclopedia. Given the scarcity of books on the topic I imagine this went into their research, plus the essays are rather Cronenberg-esque in the way they examine the tattoos and their effect on the human body. It gives an insight as to what Cronenberg and Mortensen might have had in mind when they created Nikolai. Definitely worth a read ... and a sequel.